Regardless of how successful the 2023 San Francisco 49ers turn out, some players may leave in free agency come March 2024.
Bleacher Report suggests that 49ers guard Jon Feliciano will sign with the Detroit Lions after the season. Feliciano has played 39% of the offensive snap counts and 20% of the special teams snap counts this year for the Niners.
His $2.25 million contract is up after the season, and Feliciano could eye a bigger deal elsewhere. Meanwhile, the Lions have three linemen in the final year of their contracts: Graham Glasgow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, and Jonah Jackson.
“Feliciano would be a good target, because he has experience playing both guard spots and center and the opportunity to earn a starting job could be enticing for him,” Bleacher Report staff wrote.
“But even if, say, Jackson is retained, the Lions should still look into signing the nine-year veteran in free agency,” Bleacher Report staff continued. “Worst case, his versatility makes him a decent option as a sixth offensive lineman, fulfilling Glasgow’s role as a backup guard and center.”
Jon Feliciano: highest-graded offensive player in the NFL for week 15 – 93.5 😤 pic.twitter.com/G91g63Ax7q
— PFF SF 49ers (@PFF_49ers) December 19, 2023
Feliciano signed with the 49ers this year after he had a one-year, $3.25 million deal with the New York Giants in 2022. His career began as a fourth-round NFL Draft pick in 2015 out of Miami when the then-Oakland Raiders took him.
He played in 48 games for the Raiders from 2015 to 2018 before he left in free agency for the Buffalo Bills. Feliciano started 31 games for the Bills between 2019 and 2021 before his one-year stint with the Giants.
San Francisco could re-sign Feliciano in 2024, but the team has 15 other players headed for free agency, too. That includes defensive end Chase Young, backup quarterback Sam Darnold, defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, and free safety Oren Burks.
Jon Feliciano Playing Well of Late for 49ers
Feliciano made his fifth start of the season for the 49ers in Week 15, and he earned a 93.5 grade from Pro Football Focus in the process. He stepped in for Spencer Burford and didn’t allow any quarterback pressures.
A week before, Feliciano graded at 93.5 in Week 14 against the Seattle Seahawks. He has appeared in all 14 games this season and only has two false start penalties.
Kyle Shanahan Likes Jon Feliciano for O-Line Depth
The @49ers beat the daylights out of the @Seahawks at the line of scrimmage. RG Jon Feliciano takes out Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams on Christian McCaffrey's 72-yard run to start the game. pic.twitter.com/5Bok8u1faR
— Doug Farrar ✍ (@NFL_DougFarrar) December 13, 2023
Feliciano cracked the rotation with Burford earlier this season, which helped the line’s depth.
“Nothing against Spencer, but I wanted to make sure that Jon knew that we were aware of how well we thought he had been doing,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said in a November 13 press conference.
“So that was something I just had mentioned to him and was planning on doing it. Hadn’t thought how we would do it yet,” Shanahan added. “I just thought he had earned to be out there a little bit and unfortunately Aaron [Banks] got hurt, but we never looked into anymore after that because we knew he was going to be up this week and this week going forward.”
Besides Banks’ turf toe injury, Burford missed Week 14 and 15 due to a knee injury and Feliciano sustained a concussion in October.